Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Proteins Spur Diabetic Mice Models To Grow Blood Vessels, Nerves

Date:
July 16, 2006
Source:
University of Utah Health Sciences Center
Summary:
University of Utah researchers have taken a potentially powerful new therapy for treating diabetes, peripheral vascular disease, and other illnesses out of the test tube and into animals by demonstrating it restores nerve and blood vessel growth in mice.

University of Utah researchers have taken a potentially powerful new therapy for treating diabetes, peripheral vascular disease, and other illnesses out of the test tube and into animals by demonstrating it restores nerve and blood vessel growth in mice.

The research has particularly important implications for the estimated 21 million Americans with diabetes, a disease that damages both nerves and blood vessels.

The therapy involves netrins, a family of proteins that promotes nerve development. In a study to be published this week in journal Science Express online, the Utah researchers and colleagues from other universities showed netrins not only accelerated blood vessel growth in ischemic mice (those with constricted blood flow) but they also restored blood vessel and nerve growth in diabetic mice. Dean Y. Li, M.D., Ph.D., a cardiologist and associate professor of internal medicine at the University's School of Medicine, is the study's corresponding author.

"We now have a (growth) factor that attracts both blood vessels and nerves-that's why it's unique for diabetes," Li said. "This demonstrates that netrins are critical for development and may be important as a new therapy."

Li and fellow researchers from the University of Utah and Stanford already had shown Netrin-1, a member of the netrins family, promotes blood vessel growth in laboratory cultures. But, until now, it had not been demonstrated that netrins work in animals.

The researchers tested netrins and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), a gene-based therapy in Phase 2 clinical trials, in mice. They used the same method to inject netrins and VEGF. In the mice whose blood circulation was decreased by peripheral vascular disease, the researchers found netrins and VEGF promoted blood vessel growth equally well. But in the diabetic mice, netrins proved markedly better at promoting blood vessel and nerve growth than VEGF, according to Li.

Already in Phase 2 clinical trials, VEGF may be available as a therapeutic gene therapy within five years. Gene therapy requires expertise that is available in only a few medical centers. The hope is that netrins could be more effective and may not have to be delivered as a gene therapy, making it available to a much larger group of patients, according to Li.

Proving netrins work in mice is a big step, but Li says it's only a start. "We have to find a better way to deliver the therapy," he said.

A biopharmaceutical drug would make a good way to give the therapy. As for any drug, to develop and get a therapy approved could take years. If Netrins prove to be a viable therapy and resources are committed to drug development, a netrin-based therapy could be on the market in 10 years, Li said.

Netrins are one of four major classes of neural guidance cues, which induce axons or nerve fibers to extend in specific directions during development. In 2004, Li and his colleagues showed in laboratory cultures that in addition to promoting nerve growth, Netrin-1 also induced formation of blood vessels.

Li conducted the research in conjunction with the laboratories of Chi-Bin Chien, Ph.D., associate professor of neurobiology and anatomy at the University of Utah, and Douglas W. Losordo, of the Division of Cardiovascular Research at Tufts University. The co-first authors include Brent D. Wilson, M.D., a post-doctoral fellow, and Kye Won Park and Arminda Suli, graduate students at the University of Utah.

Li'`s research into netrin-based therapy for blood vessel and nerve growth is promising enough that he recently received a $750,000 grant from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund to continue his work. This grant is awarded each year to ten researchers nationwide whose science directly impact clinical medicine. The American Heart Association also awarded him a $500,000 Established Investigator Award, for a total of $1.25 million to advance this research.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Utah Health Sciences Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Utah Health Sciences Center. "Proteins Spur Diabetic Mice Models To Grow Blood Vessels, Nerves." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 July 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/07/060716090643.htm>.
University of Utah Health Sciences Center. (2006, July 16). Proteins Spur Diabetic Mice Models To Grow Blood Vessels, Nerves. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/07/060716090643.htm
University of Utah Health Sciences Center. "Proteins Spur Diabetic Mice Models To Grow Blood Vessels, Nerves." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/07/060716090643.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

TheStreet (July 21, 2014) New research shows Gilead Science's drug Sovaldi helps in curing hepatitis C in those who suffer from HIV. In a medical study, the combination of Gilead's Hep C drug with anti-viral drug Ribavirin cured 76% of HIV-positive patients suffering from the most common hepatitis C strain. Hepatitis C and related complications have been a top cause of death in HIV-positive patients. Typical medication used to treat the disease, including interferon proteins, tended to react badly with HIV drugs. However, Sovaldi's %1,000-a-pill price tag could limit the number of patients able to access the treatment. TheStreet's Keris Lahiff reports from New York. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com
$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

Newsy (July 20, 2014) Cynthia Robinson claims R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company hid the health and addiction risks of its products, leading to the death of her husband in 1996. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tooth Plaque Provides Insight Into Diets Of Ancient People

Tooth Plaque Provides Insight Into Diets Of Ancient People

Newsy (July 19, 2014) Research on plaque from ancient teeth shows that our prehistoric ancestor's had a detailed understanding of plants long before developing agriculture. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Contaminated Water Kills 3 Babies in South African Town

Contaminated Water Kills 3 Babies in South African Town

AFP (July 18, 2014) Contaminated water in South Africa's northwestern town of Bloemhof kills three babies and hospitalises over 500 people. The incident highlights growing fears over water safety in South Africa. Duration: 02:22 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins